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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Species Fact Profile: Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria)

Victoria Crowned Pigeon
Goura victoria (Fraser, 1844)

Range: Indonesia, New Guinea
Habitat: Wetlands, Palm Forests
Diet: Fallen Fruit, Berries, Seeds, Insects, Snails
Social Grouping: Flocks of 2-10
Reproduction: Monogamous for life.  Courtship behavior consists of bowing the head and wagging the tail.  Nest in a platform of sticks and leaves low in the trees or in thickets.  Female lays single egg, incubated by both parents for 30 days.  Juveniles fledge at 4 weeks old, sexually mature at 15 months old.
Lifespan: 25 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Vulnerable, CITES Appendix II

  • One of the world's largest living pigeons (rivaled only by the other crested pigeon species).  Body length 75-85 centimeters, weigh 3.5 kilograms
  • Body feathers are blue-gray, purplish on the chest, fading to a gray belly.  The head is crowned with a lacy, fan-like crest, tipped in white
  • Wings make a loud, clapping sound when taking flight.  Mating call is a deep hoota-hoota-hoota, while males defending territories give a whup-up, whup-up call
  • Named for the nineteenth-century British monarch Queen Victoria
  • Two subspecies.  Goura victoria beccarii is found on mainland New Guinea, and is larger and lighter-colored than G. v. victoria, found in the surrounding islands. 
  • Threatened by habitat loss and hunting for meat; nestlings are collected and reared for food.  Feathers and crest used for head dresses.  Easily taken by hunters due to tameness, gregarious nature, and unwillingness to fly

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